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Italy, Flying Eagles’  opponents are first scorer at U20 World Cup



Nigeria’s Flying Eagles face Italy on 24 May, the matchday 2 of the Group D of the U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Italy may not have been one of the most potent forces in the 46-year history of the competition, they hold an eternal record. 

Ahead of the kick-off of the 2023 edition, there have been 2,614 goals in the history of the competition.

Sports Village Square recalls that the first goal in the history of the tournament was scored by Italy’s Luigi Capuzzo in a 1-1 draw against Côte d’Ivoire in 1977 in Tunisia.

Italy will be competing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the third successive edition.


But overall, this is their eighth appearance in the global showpiece U-20 event as against Nigeria’ 13th.  

Both teams will be meeting for the second time ever after the Italians’ 2-0 defeat of Nigeria at the Chile 1987 edition.  

Italy secured a spot in this edition by reaching the semi-finals of the 2022 UEFA European U-19 Championship.

The Italians made it through to the final four in each of the last two editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, losing out to the eventual champions on both occasions; England in 2017 and Ukraine in 2019.

Italy have qualified from their group in each of their last five appearances at the U-20 finals. The last time they failed to make it beyond the group stage was in 1981.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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